For about 3 weeks now I have been walking every other day around the edge of my large yard in order to help me lose weight (since I’m not working and am inactive), to help increase my stamina that has suffered greatly during the last 15 months, and to help elevate my mood. I have also gone back to watching what I eat with low fat, low calorie meals and NO snacks in between, instead of the “eat like there will be no tomorrow because I don’t care if tomorrow comes” mentality that I’ve had for 15 months. All my adult life I’ve tried to maintain an ideal weight and have been very health conscious. But when I get depressed, I tend to gain weight. This has gone on unabated since Kaitlyn’s death. There’s nothing worse than being overweight to make me even more depressed, but when I’m depressed I eat. So it’s a vicious cycle. So I’ve started to try. I’ve lost a few pounds but not enough to tell a difference yet as I have so far to go.
As I’m walking out there at 6:30 a.m. before the hot, humid days of a southern summer has time to take hold, though I’m walking in part to elevate my mood, of course you know what it is I do….I think. And think and think and think. If you think I think a great deal about things at home, you have no idea how much more I do this as I walk.
As I walked this morning I began thinking about how long it’s been since I had a visitation dream from Kaitlyn. I’ve had 5 of them since she died, but I have not had one since February and that has been almost 6 months ago. I loved these dreams because it is as if she was really there and to this day I remember every single bit of the dreams and see her so clearly. My memory never dims with these dreams.
Then I think of the content of that last dream, and as I had thought a few months ago that it could have possibly been a dream where she was actually leaving me and not be able to visit me anymore, now I really feel like this is true. Here is my blog post I made about it then in case you never read it or don’t remember: https://welding81.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/i-saw-kaitlyn-in-my-dream-this-morning/
On the tram I remember that she told me her reasons for leaving and how they made sense to her, and I did not agree with them, but they helped me understand. Strangely in this dream, as she was telling me these things, I felt an understanding of what she was saying, but even though I understood, I had no remembrance of exactly what she said or what her reasons were, only that I understood. I also feel like she was telling me goodbye.
Since that time, I have not had another dream of her except for dreams that I feel were nothing but dreams, where she was only present somehow but it was not meaningful or memorable. It was just a dream, not like the visitation dreams I had of her before where she would come to me at different ages of her life and give me different messages, when I could see, feel, hear, touch and smell her.
I also no longer have the signs of her I once had. I don’t see the image of her in the woods as if she is standing in her black dress with her blonde hair waiting to go to the opera, play, or the symphony. (Of course it was just a tree and the light spot that looked like her hair was just a lightness of the woods). But it looked like her. That’s gone now and I saw it every day for months. The flowers in her memorial garden are for the most part, not doing well and I have taken care of them more than I have any flower garden in my life.
She’s gone and I don’t feel her presence anymore. But I do still smell her scent in the small room where I have her things from her apartment stored, including the clothes in her clothes basket. And I still see hundreds of dragonflies regularly around my house outside. I have never seen so many in my life.
This saddens me. I guess souls really can’t be more than one place at a time and she has gone on to be where ever it is that she has gone.
Then I start thinking of the debilitating guilt that, instead of easing, continues to get worse over time. Yes, she wrote to us that what she did was not our fault and we were the best parents in the world, I still feel that I failed her. With each passing day I feel this stronger.
Hindsight is 20/20, but I cringe at the signs that I did not take seriously. All the signs I may have been blind to and never realized it. The possibility of denial of any problem that she may have had. Guilt that I researched children with high intelligence and how they need to be intellectually nurtured. But I never thought to research the emotional needs in someone so very bright. I should have done all that. I should have known. I should have….I should have.
I really do think, metaphorically speaking, had Kaitlyn stood before me with her beautiful smile, her soulful eyes, and she was standing there with a noose in her hand, I would have seen nothing but her beautiful eyes and illuminating smile. Her being shined as bright as the sun and I was blind to anything else. I could not fathom anything ever being wrong inside of her mind. It was not possible. I would have been totally blind to the noose. And this would have not been because I did not love her with all my heart and soul, but maybe because of it because I saw no inner turmoil in her and never thought it could ever exist in such a seemingly perfect person. But I should have known no one is perfect. Just like she should have known perfection was not attainable. How I could be so oblivious to her depression ALL her life is so impossible to imagine. My love and adoration of my child did not let me see it. And for that I will forever blame myself.
Sometimes I wonder what I could have done in my past to make God send something as unfathomable and horrible down upon my Kaitlyn and to me and my family. But of course, they say God does not punish people this way. Why they happen I don’t know. But if God did punish people, he could have not chosen a better way to punish me than to take one of my children. There is nothing worse.
So I think about all of this as I walk around and around my yard, trying to boost my mood. And I go inside to continue to think of just what I can do in my life to make me even WANT to survive this. My gosh you have to want it first, then it takes the unbelievable amount of time that once you want to be better and you can actually feel better. To me that is insurmountable.